The Role of the Dermatologist in Identification and Treatment of the Early Stages of Psoriatic Arthritis

Skin Therapy Letter. 2008;13(4):4-8. 

In This Article

Differential Diagnosis

Distinguishing PsA from other inflammatory conditions can be challenging since the clinical features may overlap. The differential diagnosis may include: rheumatoid arthritis(RA), reactive arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ankylosing spondylitis, to name a few. (See Table 2 .)

To further complicate matters, other rheumatologic conditions such as osteoarthritis, soft tissue rheumatism, septic arthritis, and true RA can coexist with psoriasis. In addition, psoriasis has been found to occur with higher frequency in patients with IBD and ankylosing spondylitis.[15,16,17]

The presence of such confounding variables stresses the importance of a full history and physical examination that includes serological, radiological, and perhaps genetic investigations to aid in the diagnosis.

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